7 Tricks For Distracting Your Toddler

There’s plenty of moments when distracting a toddler is very necessary. Grocery stores, retail stores, planes, restaurants…the list goes on. Distracting your toddler is the best way to maintain the peace and avoid public screaming matches and threats that damage your child’s psyche. Check out a few options for keeping your toddler distracted and enjoy feeling like an awesome parent:

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Special Play Boxes

Special play boxes are ideal when you have to concentrate on an older child or baby. Use the boxes only during such times, and fill them with toys your toddler doesn’t normally play with. Change what’s in the boxes every few weeks or as needed to keep what’s inside a surprise. Your toddler will be distracted, and you can get things done.

Bounce, Bounce, Bounce

Toddlers love to be bounced up and down in their parents arms, and it’s a great way to distract them when fussy. If you’re up for it, sing a little song in conjunction with the bouncing. Your toddler will be laughing in no time.

Plush Toy “I Wove You” Trick

Need to distract a crying toddler?  Pull out a stuffed toy and “make it talk.” Say “I wove (love) you!” in a funny voice and have the toy “kiss” the toddler. Be sure to make the “muah” noise for added effect. This trick is pretty much a surefire way to get your toddler to stop crying and start giggling.


An old-fashioned game of peek-a-boo is yet another great way to keep your toddler distracted. Use your hands or a towel/blanket if one is available, and play the game until your toddler is ready for naptime.

Magazine Fun

Old magazines provide seemingly-endless fun for little kids. If you’re dealing with very young toddlers, ripping the pages from the magazine will likely suffice. If your toddlers are older, have them point out items on the pages, such as flowers, fruits and vegetables, smiling people, etc.

Coloring Sheets

Keep coloring sheets and crayons in your car as well as in the house and pull them out whenever distraction is required. Make sure the sheets are fun and interesting to your toddlers, and don’t worry about running out–the internet is full of printable coloring sheets!


Small books easily fit in your purse, and provide ideal distraction tools whenever necessary, such as when flying or waiting for a restaurant table.

Have you thought of other ways to distract toddlers? Share your best ideas!